Located on the west side of the central exhibition hall on the second floor, following the sequence of showing Chongqing’s unique geographical features and natural resources, the hall comprehensively introduces the mountains, waters, forests, farmland, lakes, grassland, mineral resources, which expresses the idea of harmonious coexistence between man and nature. It is divided into four units: Preface, Natural Resources, Man and Nature, and Conclusion.
Chongqing’s Natural Resources Sand Table
This exhibition area vividly and comprehensively displays the distribution of natural resources such as landscapes, forests, fields, and grasses in Chongqing, regional characteristics, geomorphological types, characteristic landscapes through digital sand table projection.
Chongqing is located east of the Sichuan Basin, and its terrain inclines from north to south to the Yangtze River Valley, located in China’s second step of land terrain. The mountains in the territory are undulating, mainly in the middle and low mountains. The mountainous area is about 62,000 square kilometers, accounting for 76% of the city’s area. It is divided into four geomorphic areas, namely, the West Chongqing Mountainous and Hilly Area, the Central Chongqing Structure Parallel Ridge Valley Area, the northeast Chongqing Dabashan Structural Dissolution Layered Mid-mountain Area, the Wushan-Qiyao Mountain Competent Bedrock Dissolved Canyon Mid-mountain Area. This exhibition area mainly uses model sand tables to display Chongqing’s mountain characteristics, with high-quality exhibitions such as the Gold Buddha Mountain Diorama, the Fairy Mountain diorama, and flower and terraced fields dioramas.
Yushui (Waters of Chongqing)
There are more than 5,300 rivers and more than 3,000 lakes in Chongqing, including 42 rivers with a basin area of more than 1,000 square kilometers, forming a water system structure of “one trunk, two bones, and seven branches”. The water area accounts for 2.65% of the city’s total area. The mainstream of the Yangtze River in Chongqing, with a total length of 691 kilometers, the Three Gorges Reservoir Area has a total storage capacity of 40 billion cubic meters, maintaining 35% of the country’s freshwater resources. This exhibition area mainly displays Chongqing’s rivers, lakes, and wetlands and their related place names and creatures.
Forests and Grasslands
Chongqing is one of the 34 key biodiversity areas in the world, which is rich in forest vegetation and grassland resources, mainly alpine meadows, which are quite characteristic. The forest resources area of Chongqing is 70.34 million mu, among which the forest land resources distribution of southeast Chongqing Wuling Mountain Town Clusters and the northeast Chongqing Three Gorges Reservoir Area Town Clusters are relatively concentrated, with 20.82 million mu and 32.74 million mu respectively. The grassland resources in Chongqing are mainly thermal shrubs and grasses, warm shrubs and grasses, and mountain meadows, which are mainly located over 1,000 meters above sea level with a total area of about 236 square kilometers. They are staggered with cultivated land and forest land. This exhibition area mainly shows the distribution characteristics and types of forests and grasses in Chongqing through exhibits such as Fairy Mountain alpine grassland dioramas.
The total land area of Chongqing is 82,374 square kilometers. The landform is mainly mountainous and hilly, and the cultivated land accounts for 22.7% of the total land area. Although the area of cultivated land in Chongqing is small, it is quite distinctive. There are countless “granaries” such as Liangping Bazi, Xiushan Bazi, Miaoyu Bazi, Fengdu Taiping Bazi. There are Qijiang Hengshan Terrace, Wanzhou Luotian Terrace, Youyang Terrace, and other types of terraced fields. This exhibition area shows the distribution characteristics, morphological characteristics, and other contents of Chongqing fields through exhibits such as the diorama of Youyang Huatian Terrace and Chongqing Characteristic Agricultural Products Booth.
There are more than 6,000 species of wild vascular plants and more than 800 species of wild terrestrial vertebrates in the excellent refuge areas in Chongqing during the Quaternary glacial period, especially in the northeast and southeast Chongqing, which are essential components of 35 priority areas for biodiversity conservation in China (Daba Mountain and Wuling Mountain) and 34 hot areas for biodiversity conservation in the world (Mountains in Southwest China). In Chongqing, there are rare and endangered plants such as Cephalanthera nanchuanica, Scutellaria tsinyunensis, Primula mallophylla, Adiantum nelumboides, and world-class terrestrial wildlife such as Trachypithecus francoisi, Viverricula indica, Mergus squamatus, Aquila chrysaetos, etc. This exhibition area shows Chongqing’s rich biodiversity in the form of a biological specimen wall and exhibition boards with texts and pictures. It has fine exhibitions such as the Chongqing plant specimen wall and Chongqing insect surface wall.
Mineral crystal is a popular mineral type because of its exquisite shape and magnificent color. This exhibition area mainly displays Wolframite in Hunan, kyanite in Madagascar, Lepidolite in Brazil, Malachite in Laos and other dozens of various ores, including turquoise and other fine exhibits.
Mineral Resources in Chongqing
At present, among the 173 known mineral resources in China, 70 kinds of minerals have been found in Chongqing, of which 44 have been found to have reserves, and 23 have been developed and utilized. Dominant minerals in Chongqing include Shale Gas, Natural Gas, Geothermal, Manganese Ore, Bauxite, Strontium Ore, Witherite, Barite, and Mercury Ore, with obvious zoning and relatively concentrated distribution. This exhibition area has Chongqing characteristic ores such as Chengkou Witherite, Dazu Strontium Ore, Wushan Iron Ore, and Youyang Fluorite.
Chongqing is rich in shale gas resources, with geological resources of 13.7 trillion cubic meters, ranking third in the country after Sichuan and Xinjiang. By the end of 2021, Chongqing has accumulated 920.9 billion cubic meters of proven geological reserves, accounting for about 41% of the country, and 46.2 billion cubic meters of shale gas (8.9 billion cubic meters of gas in 2021), accounting for about 50% of the country. Fuling Shale Gas Field is the first large-scale shale gas field with a production capacity of 10 billion cubic meters in China. This exhibition area shows the development and utilization process and working principle of shale gas by using the exploitation platform model, and water immersion experiment. It has fine exhibits such as shale gas exploration and production diorama.
Salt of Chongqing
Chongqing is rich in rock salt resources, with a wide distribution area and a long mining history. As early as the end of the Neolithic Age more than 4,000 years ago, salt production began in the Xiajiang area of Chongqing, such as Ningchang in Wuxi, Yun’an in Yunyang, Tujing in Zhongxian, Yantang in Kaizhou, Yushan in Pengshui, and other places. At that time, the ancient brine springs in these areas had been relied on as raw materials for salt production. Rock salt in Chongqing is mainly distributed in Wanzhou, Changshou, Hechuan, Dianjiang, Yunyang, and other districts and counties. Rock salt mines range from small lenses to large rock salt beds. The rock salt has a high grade and few impurities. The rock salt reserves in the city are 11.959 billion tons. This exhibition area mainly introduces the history of the development and utilization of Chongqing’s salt industry, the characteristics of resource distribution, and the related cultural heritages.
Chongqing has unique hot spring resources. The development and utilization of geothermal resources in Chongqing have a long history. The evolution of its utilization mode has played a very important role in the origin of the ancient Ba culture in Chongqing and the development of Chongqing city. In 2010, Chongqing was awarded the first batch of “Capital of Hot Springs in China” by the former Ministry of Land and Resources. Thus, hot springs have become a famous name card of Chongqing. This exhibition area mainly displays the distribution of hot spring resources in Chongqing, the characteristics of Chongqing, and the history of Chongqing’s development and utilization by using graphic display boards and geological models.
As a famous mountain city, Chongqing’s geological disasters are very typical natural disasters. Chongqing is located in the slope area around the Sichuan Basin’s margin. With a complex geological environment, steep slopes, deep valleys, and large rivers and reservoirs, Chongqing is one of the regions with the most severe geological disasters and the most threatened population in China. This exhibition area shows the types of common geological disasters in Chongqing, such as landslides, collapses, mud rock flows, surface collapses, and ground fissures, in the form of cartoons, and introduces disaster prevention and self-rescue.
Man and nature are a community of life. In the process of social development, we must respect nature, comply with nature and protect nature. Only by following the laws of nature, adhering to ecological priority and green development, can we stand on a higher dimension of sustainable development of human civilization, achieve harmonious coexistence between man and nature, and build a vibrant scene of “all things alive”. This exhibition area highlights the important measures taken by Chongqing to implement the “Four Mountains” protection, “Green Mountains on Both Sides of the Straits, Thousand Mile Forest Belt”, build a nature reserve system, and other projects to build an important ecological barrier in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.